Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller has no plans to raise the white flag concerning perennial runner-up In Times Of War.
The Street Cry mare shares the same sire as champion stablemate Winx, but the similarities end there 11 starts into the four-year-old’s career.
In Times Of War has won twice for owner Gerry Harvey buthas run second in every other start, invariably by a narrow margin.
Her record is dominated by losses by a short half-head, short neck, half neck and long neck.
She has racked up four consecutive second placings in benchmark races with Tim Clark, Hugh Bowman and Kerrin McEvoy among the riders not quite able to get her to the line.
Apprentice Lee Magorrian rode In Times Of War for the first time in her most recent start at Canterbury last month and has another chance to end her frustrating sequence of near misses at Rosehill on Saturday.
On Thursday, In Times of War was the TAB’s $4.40 second elect for the Blacktown Workers Handicap (1100m) behind the Les Bridge-trained Slow Burn ($2.80).
Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth couldn’t argue with those odds.
“Hopefully she can go one better. She’ll be in the first two anyway,” Duckworth said.
“She’d probably have run second in the Cox Plate. She’s a seriously smart horse. She’s just struggling to get enough confidence to win a few in a row.”
Duckworth said it was crucial to ensure In Times Of War timed her run.
“She’s just got one short, sharp burst and it just needs to be utilised at the right stage in the race to try and attack them late,” he said.
“She needs to be cuddled as late as possible rather than playing your hand early.”
He thought maturity and a step up in distance rather than gear changes could be the key.
“You could put blinkers on her but she’d probably overdo it a fraction,” Duckworth said.
“She’s racing immaturely but I’m sure once she gets up over 1400 she’ll be winning.
“We think she should end up with black-type when her career finishes. It’s just getting her there.”
Stablemate Overstep is also in the race and is a $9.50 chance.